Response to Prompt #1

Jun 8th, 2014 | By | Category: Blog

“Be joyful/though you have considered all the facts”

I think that this is one of the hardest things, but often overlooked. This fall I took a human ecology course, and I became aware of so many problems, problems that had I never thought about before. Things like the problem with foreign aid programs, conservation projects that displace people, and the basic capitalist system. I was glad to become aware of all these things, but it was hard to look at my place within it all, or even just the scenery around me. When I talked to people sometimes I would wonder how they could be so happy when the make up of the world was in such disrepair.

I was also taking a photography class and it was hard to compare the two. Sometimes I felt like my photography class was so unconnected from the world and all the complicated things I was learning about, but I found that taking pictures made me happy. And I realized that having something I enjoy doing makes me think about problems in a different way; I think about how I can change things while doing things that I enjoy. And I think people finding solutions to problems through doing something they love is the best way to change things (I guess that means I should hope that there aren’t many people who truly enjoy drilling for oil.)

The quote does make me feel a release. It gives us worried people permission to step away from our worries to feel joy, but then to look back at them with a new view. We shouldn’t feel guilty for the beautiful things, we should feel grateful. And then use that grace to make change. And what if those joys come from the small things? Then save the small things. I think people can’t enact change if they are miserable.

One Comment to “Response to Prompt #1”

  1. Carlyn Vachow says:

    Hi, Marissa!

    You do a beautiful job of linking the importance of happiness to enacting change. I agree with you that “we shouldn’t feel guilty for the beautiful things.” I think often we internally punish ourselves for having something wonderful (whether it’s a hobby, a place, or thing) because we feel that it might draw us away from the problems at hand…not entirely sure how to properly articulate that. Perhaps the best way to balance what we have and what others lack is to appreciate what we have and simultaneously strive to share it or create beautiful things for others.

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